Surely one of the major attractions for tourists are gourmet restaurants when visiting a foreign country. One of the most useful and recognized guides for their quality is released yearly by Michelin, the well-known manufacturer of tires. Michelin-star restaurants are attractive for visitors for their high quality dishes, as well as their prestige. But there are many things that they misunderstand about the Michelin star – hopefully this small guide will help them clear them.
1. The Michelin star is awarded
First of all, let’s see what the Michelin star means. The Michelin guide contains the addresses of a series of restaurants, marked with none up to three stars. One star means that that the restaurant has an exceptional cuisine. Two stars indicate that the restaurant is worth visiting if you happen to be in town, while three stars mark restaurants that are worth traveling to visit in themselves.
Michelin stars are not awarded by the publication – their name and address is simply marked with a small, red symbol (that resembles a flower rather than a star) indicating their quality. There is no ceremony at all – except for the celebration chefs and owners might hold if they get a star in the upcoming edition of the Michelin Guide.
You must have heard of “Michelin star chefs” in the media. This usually indicates that the respective chefs have worked at restaurants marked with stars in the Michelin guide. While chefs have a major part in the achievement of obtaining a star, they are not the ones receiving it – it is the restaurant itself. Whenever chefs leave a restaurant, the star stays behind.
3. Michelin star restaurants are expensive and chic
A common misconception, fueled by the fact that if you want to provide premium products, you need to use premium ingredients. The higher quality ingredients a restaurant uses, the higher its prices will be – so, it’s basically the other way around. But Michelin stars don’t reward the environment, the quality of the tables or serving – there is a small dim sum buffet in Hong Kong, which doesn’t have a menu, doesn’t take reservations, what it has is a waitress and varieties of dim sum which the patrons order by marking them up on a piece of paper. You could sit there in a jump suit and play red flush online casino games for all they care – the place still has a Michelin star.
4. Michelin star restaurants serve small portions
This is a misconception that is caused by the fact that many people confound Michelin stars with fine dining. Fine dining restaurants usually serve small portions of dishes, because they want to provide their patrons with a great variety of textures and tastes to experience during a single meal. These small portions take a lot of time and effort to compose – chefs would prefer to make larger ones, as it requires much less work on their side.